Exercise! - How do you get the courage to join a gym and actually go?

08-13-2002, 07:56 PM
I know if I joined a gym and went it would help alot. THe problem is at the size I'm at I'm embarassed to go. I know crazy since that's where I need to be to loose all this weight (67 lbs.) There are no women only gyms where I live. Any advice would be nice. Am I just crazy or do other people feel this way?

08-13-2002, 08:52 PM
I say get over it and join! I have lost 37 pounds and have 70 to go. My husband and I belong to 24 Hour Fitness. I got myself a pair of mens stretchie bike shorts and a baggy tee shirt. I am doing this for myself not anyone else in the gym. I use the "in shape" people at the gym as my motivation that some day I will be there. I have seen people looking at me but not in a bad way. But in a "Good Going for Being Here" look.

Do it for yourself!

08-15-2002, 01:21 AM
I was crushed when the women's gym I belonged to lost their lease and they had to close the club a few years back. As a veteran health club member (I've belonged to about 5 different ones in my life), I found the women's clubs to be the most comfortable. Being from Chicago, we have a lot more choices to pick and choose from. Bally's Total Fitness is big out here but you couldn't give me a free membership - it's the land of the young body beautifuls with their teensy fashionable gym "togs". I don't have the body, self esteem or the iron will to go into that place anymore. I joined a co-ed club near my house about 2 years ago. Each time I've joined a gym it's because I was tired of looking like I did and needed the discipline of a regular exercise routine. That, plus paying the money out made me guilty if I didn't go.

I checked out a few clubs before I joined up - everyone will give you a tour if they think they can get you to join - some will even give you a day or week's pass. For me the top thing was the culture of the group that went there. This club has a big mix of younger people, people around my age and even some seniors. I then look at the facilities - do they have machines I would use and especially what are the class schedules like? I work full time so it's preferably early morning for me or after work (tho I find I'm more pooped at the end of the day and more likely to do the early ones). This gym opens at 5:30am with classes starting at 6am. Some people said they are more comfortable going during the less busy times - the super fit people tend to go at 7am before work, lunch time and right after work. So others (like me) tend to go around these hours when we're more comfortable with the people around us.

I also look at the attitude of the club employees. Are they interested in fitness and health as their primary goals or do they just want the membership money? Do you feel comfortable being there? That's what's most important.

Finally I found that the closer to home the club is for me, the more likely I am to go. Especially in the winter when the weather is not too great.

Don't know how rural your area is but you might have more choices beyond the traditional gym setting. Check out the YMCA/YWCA, our local junior college offers fitness classes on a variety of exercise programs (you don't have to be a student to attend them) and so does our local hospital in an effort to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Good luck to you - just find something that makes you feel comfortable and is worth your time and money.

08-15-2002, 01:01 PM
THanks for all the responses. I'm probably not going to join and instead cont. working out at home. I'm just not ready to go. Keep up the good work to all of you who have the courage to go. I look up to y'all.

08-16-2002, 09:29 AM
I'm really sorry you don't have a women only gym in your area ... I joined one about six months ago, and it's great! One of the benefits to me is the classes ... attending classes forces me to adhere to a schedule, plus the instructors will push me harder than I'll push myself! Maybe you could find some kind of classes independent of a gym (sometimes you can find these going on associated with community centers and such).

This is the first time I've belonged to a women only gym. I've been at several co-ed gyms in the past, and always when I was large. Yes, it's difficult to go in there with all these skinny, fit people running around in bicycle shorts, but I found I had to make an attitude adjustment. You just have to not care what they think -- ****, your weight is none of their business! And at least you're doing something about your fitness level -- in fact, I imagine there are many people in there who would have a lot of respect for you, for the fact that you're trying to do something about your fitness, not sitting at home on the couch! Truly, though, most of these people don't really pay much attention to you anyway!

But, if you know you'll be uncomfortable, don't waste your money because you probably won't go! Maybe you can find some classes somewhere (and don't discount Senior Citizens programs - if you're really out of shape, they'll certainly be nice and low-impact for you, if they'll allow you to join them -- assuming you're not a Senior!), and perhaps someday a women only gym will open. Or hey! Maybe you could start a franchise of your own! (Lady of America and Cory Everson come to mind!)


08-23-2002, 05:51 PM
Don't rule it out forever. There probably just as many out of shape people there are fit people. I belong at a gym where I always thought it was thong/spandex world. Once I joined (it was too close to my house to ignore) I noticed that it actually was very friendly to all people - including handicapped and older people. And while there are tons of the firm and I tend to enviously compare myself to them - the locker room is a revelation that most bodies are far from perfect!

So- what I am getting around to saying is take a tour and see if the gym has things that you would like. The hot bods are really only looking at themselves anyways. Also alot of gyms have 'women only areas' for those who are more comfortable with that. Plus men never take the classes- just gear it down to where you need it to be. A good instructor should be more than ok with that and show you how to low impact.


08-23-2002, 05:57 PM
mz pen- You are so right about the attitude adjustment - I have a little story to share.

One day, quite a few years ago I was in the car with my ex. I never excercised and was packing on the pounds so fast people did not recognize me. We drove by a girl who was jogging and she was a bit jiggly and she was pumping her arms in a super weird way. I started to make fun of her and my ex said 'hey- at least she is out there trying to improve herself. I really respect that.' That shut me up quick and ever since , I too respect anyone who is out there and doing the best they can!

08-24-2002, 04:22 PM
I totally agree with you!

08-24-2002, 06:10 PM
Well everyone I'm going to go to the YMCA that's nearby this Mon. for a tour and to check out the daycare. I have a 6 mth. old who is crawling so the facilities need to be somewhat clean since everything goes into his mouth. I figure I'll be going during the day so everyone should be stay at home parents or way too busy with work that they're sequezzing in their exercise that they won't care what I look like. Also the Y is more in my price range compared to the other gyms in town. I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks for all the input!

08-26-2002, 03:37 PM
Congratulations! I hope you like the Y! I have a 14 month old, and she LOVES going to the kid's center at the gym. She's not in there so long that she starts missing me, but she is there long enough to really have fun, and she really enjoys interacting with the other kids. Since I go during the day as well, there are a lot of moms and older women that go there ... a few are probably students, as well, and certainly there are plenty of ladies there who are a LOT slimmer than I am, but I've been amazed at how supportive people are. I've had some people come up to me just because they noticed I've been coming regularly and they encourage me, saying I'm looking good and admire my effort!

I hope you can find something like that at the Y!


08-26-2002, 05:29 PM
Yeah I was very overweight and started going to the gym and felt a little odd. But then I realized this, the LAST place and I mean the last place on earth I should be embarrased to be at is a gym because I am doing something about my weight. I internalized that view and never worried again about being there.

08-26-2002, 06:34 PM
Well I joined the Y. I went for a tour and joined. Tomorrow I have an appt. with a trainer to set up a workout plan! I also signed my son up for the daycare everyday this week and next. At this Y they only offer daycare 2x day and you have to sign up what time you are coming so they arent' bonbarded with kids and then have no kids. You had to sign up with pen so I'm committed for 2 wks. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! You can only sign up 2 wks. at a time. I'm glad they do that because if I know they are holding a spot for my son and I would have to call and cancel I wouldn't cancel I would just go. VERY MOTIVATIONAL to get my butt to the gym! I'll check in tomorrow to let you know how it went.

08-27-2002, 02:06 PM
I'm glad to hear you joined! I'm relatively new to the gym world myself, but a few things I've figured out since joining a year ago are:

1. Most of us walk around thinking about ourselves (our fitness level, how gross we think *we* look in our workout gear, etc) - not other people. Sure, there might be a few goddesses there who derive pleasure out of thinking how much better they look in Spandex, but I don't think they are the majority.

2. Not all people who look really fit *are*. I can't tell you how many "overweight" people at the gym I see who have tremendous strength and endurance. Conversely, there are lots of skinny little unfit people out there.

3. People at the gym (staff, friendly members) become very excited when a new member starts achieving her fitness goals. When someone makes real progress, it tends to inspire others to do it as well and the cycle repeats. It's contagious and fun to be a part of it.

Have fun at the gym :) .

08-27-2002, 05:52 PM
I have been checking regularly to see what you decided to do! Hooray for you- the Y sounds perfect.

I have never tried a trainer - keep us posted how that works out. Try not to over do it or by week two you will be wondering what the heck you are doing and be tempted to stop! I would imagine, however, the trainer will make sure that you won't try too much too soon!

Good luck! We are proud of you!

08-27-2002, 10:00 PM
Went today and feel GREAT! Thanks for all the support. I had a fitness consulting and she will set up a workout plan for me on Fri. that we will go over. I do plan to go M-F and take the weekend off. I know, I know not to overdue it but I'm pretty sure I can pace myself. I even wore biking shorts and a big t-shirt. Didn't even wear the shorts over the biking shorts. Once I was inside I didn't even think about it. I haven't felt so excited about anything in a long time. I have along way to go but I'm willing to do the work to get there. I'll keep y'all posted

08-28-2002, 02:14 AM
I've been lurking too just to see how things turned out. So glad you like the Y Jacksonmom. Especially since you were shying away from the whole gym concept in the first place.

I totally agree with everything Rupertsmom said. Found that to be true myself.

And I have been working with a personal trainer for a few months now. It's wonderful and worth the investment in myself. Even if you don't pay for one (and if you do decide to go that route, make SURE they are focusing on you) - even just a session or two with a fitness consultant is great. I've encountered a couple of ladies here who varied their routines and got alot out of just a session or two.

Keep it up and ENJOY!

08-28-2002, 09:46 AM
I'm so excited that YOU DID IT!!!! Now make your plan and force yourself to stick with it. It's very likely it will be a struggle for you to do that for a while ... a month, six weeks. Things will come up - you get sick, the baby gets sick, company comes, the house is mess and you feel guilty taking the time for yourself instead of cleaning, and on and on and on. BUT if you will make it a high priority, and get through an initial time period, you WILL make it a habit and something that you really WANT to do!!! You're excited right now, but in a week or two you might lose some of that excitement (for instance, you might be jumping on the scale and the numbers aren't going down!) -- STICK WITH IT! If the scale depresses you, STAY OFF OF IT! Give it time, and it will become a welcome part of your day!

I, for one, am very proud of you!

08-28-2002, 10:39 AM
Yeah- spandex is insane. But it better than the leotard and tights thing that was popular a while back. So it could be worse- you could be wearing leg warmers! Actually the shorts are good because they stay put ! Keep up the good work. Treat yourself to a good walkman and some good music - consider it an investment.

08-30-2002, 06:43 PM
I've gone everyday this week and love it! If you want to see my updates check my other thread under exercise it's the exercise challenge. Thanks for all the support.

09-23-2002, 10:10 PM
I can totally understand where you're coming from. But think of it this way , I have over 100 ponds to lose and I work at a gym. I am a receptionist, my job includes signing on new members. I can tell you that, most people who work and workout here are focused on their own lives that they don't worry about what everyone else looks like.
I too was intimidated by the atmosphere of a health club. It took me 3 months to go in our fitness center after the day I started working.


09-30-2002, 11:52 AM
I relize this is an older post BUT I got to give my 2 cents on the whole gym thang.

Women's Gym
The equipment is smaller, almost everyone is fat, pretty easy to go to. Though I found the aerobics class disturbing, "AND SMILE NOW LADIES!":?:

24 Hour Fitness/Bally's
I have causght women actually checking thier make-up there. What is this a singles club:p Plus I was generally unimpressed with the staff can anyone over 12 work there:mad:

Personal Trainer
Awesome but costly. I had a really funny,attractive, nice, intelligent one for awhile and I lost the pounds. Then she went back to college and well the next one just sucked. I paid her to leave me alone :lol:

Private Gym
Select company, smaller so equipment is limited, is almost always empty when I go. The guys sometimes make adjustments to the machines that make it a workout to put back. But I think this is my preference besides working out at home(PLUS LESS GERMS:smug: think about it and when ur at 24 hr try not to gag)

So there it is,
Ms. Chris:strong:

10-31-2002, 03:52 PM
I totally know how you feel, but there are great woman gyms now they are called CURVES for Woman. I belong to one and its only woman the program is only 30 minutes long and mixes cardio with strenght training. Most of the woman there are on some kind of diet plan whether its weight watchers or something else. There should be one near you as I believe there is about 3500 of them across the country. Its a place that you dont feel out of place or embarrassed. I know at my gym we actually have quite a few woman who are well over 300 pounds and do the program. Let me know how you go :dizzy: